An Invitation to Pastors

WHY THE CHURCH MUST EMPHASIZE CREATION, continued
If you are just joining us, start here.

Reason #1: Creation is: THE REASON FOR WORSHIP.

  • The Theme Around the Throne

    You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.  Revelation 4:11
    In the introduction to this section, we pointed to the ultimate worship scene in heaven, as described in Revelation 4.  Worship doesn’t get better than this!  The four living creatures and elders, casting their crowns before the throne of God, cry out that God is worthy to receive their adoration because He created all things, and by His will they exist and were created.  Apparently they shout this doxology repeatedly.  Notice that this is the primary and only reason they give for why God is worthy of worship: He is the Creator of all things.  All things were created (past tense), but they exist (present tense; remember how we said creation is not just about the past?)  This doxology illustrates that God is eternally to be exalted as Creator, even in heaven.

  • The Everlasting Gospel

    Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth–to every nation, tribe, and tongue, and people–saying with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and springs of water.”  Revelation 14:6-7
    Here is another dramatic call to worship.  The wrath of God is falling in judgment on rebellious sinners, yet God sends a mighty angel in mercy to explain what they must do.  The message calls men to fear and worship God; fear Him for His right to send judgment on the earth, and worship Him because He is Creator.  This is the Everlasting Gospel (good news).  It includes the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the spiritual “spring of water” (John 7:37-38).  But unless man recognizes God as Creator, he cannot understand Christ as Redeemer.  And in eternity, after sin has been judged, the righteous sanctified, and there is eternal peace in the new heavens and the new earth, we will forever rejoice in the Everlasting Gospel: worship Him who made heaven and earth.

  • Nehemiah’s Revival

    Stand up and bless the Lord your God forever and ever!
    Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!  You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all; and the host of heaven worships You.
      Nehemiah 9:5-7
    The Jews under Ezra and Nehemiah are having one of the greatest revivals in their history.  The captivity is ended, they have returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the walls and the temple.  They have celebrated the long-forgotten Feast of Tabernacles (actually a kind of back-to-nature thanksgiving campout).  At the pinnacle of the revival, after they have heard and understood the Word of God, and wept over their sins and rejoiced in the mercy of God, the Levites call them to stand and worship.  Their prayer opens with this superlative exaltation of God as Creator of the universe, the earth, the seas, and everything that is in them.  Again, creation is not just about the past: the Levites say God is actively preserving all the things in his creation.  This opening is key to the long prayer, with all its praise, repentance, and supplication, that follows through the remainder of the chapter.

  • Jesus Christ, the exalted Creator and Sustainer of the Universe

    God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds . . . .  Hebrews 1:1-2
    God the Son, second person of the Trinity–the Lord Jesus Christ–is worthy to be exalted as Creator and Sustainer as equally as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are.  Jesus’ role as Redeemer, the Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins, is cause for manifold awe when we recognize that “all things were made by Him” (John 1:3), that they were “made by Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16), that He was rejoicing with the Father as the expression of the divine Wisdom during the creation of all the wonders of nature (Prov. 8: 22-31), and that even today the Lord Jesus Christ is holding all things together (Col. 1:17).  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

    That the Creator himself comes to us and becomes our ransom - this is the reason for our rejoicing. –Martin Luther

    Churches should emphasize creation to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ for the full glory due Him.  In his book Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe, Dr. Steven Austin of the Institute for Creation Research explains his purpose for studying the evidence for creation and the Flood at the canyon:

    The true Gospel of Jesus Christ includes far more than His marvelous redemptive work, although that is the focal point of all history.  The complete “good news” includes the entire person and work of Jesus Christ, starting with His work of creation and culminating in His final vanquishing of sin and reigning over His creation made perfect once again.  Let us not only ponder the works of judgment and salvation at the time of Noah’s Flood, let us more fully grasp the complete work of our Creator, Savior, and King – our Lord Jesus Christ!

  • Will the real God please stand?

    Thus you shall say unto them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.  He hath made the earth by His power, he has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.  (Jeremiah 10:10-11)
    The world is not against religion.  The world gives due respect to all faiths–Christian, Jew, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.– and considers it rude to believe yours alone is true.  Multiculturalism is the in thing, which presupposes that all religions are equally valid, and equally stupid (because its adherents don’t yet understand Darwinism).  But the God of Scripture will not be so classed with the false gods of the world.  He is exalted above all, because He alone made the earth and stretched out the heavens.  Therefore Jeremiah can cry out (in a very politically incorrect way) “O earth, earth, earth, hear the Word of the Lord!” (Jer. 22:29).  Listen to Him, because He is the Creator.  “He has made the world by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by His understanding” (Jer. 51:15). 
    Notice again that creation is not just about the past– Jeremiah continues, “When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, and brings the wind out of His treasuries.” (v. 16).  The Bible does not teach Deism, the idea that God started it all and left it to run by itself.  This and many other passages show God as actively sustaining the created order and steering it according to his purposes.
    Whenever the Bible draws a distinction between the gods of the nations and the true God, it points to Him as Creator and ruler over creation.  Will the real God, the one worthy to be worshiped, stand up?  It is the One who made all things.
    Application: Missions.  Creation is the justification for missions.  If Christianity is just a religion among the world’s religions, then what right does a Christian missionary have to impose his or her beliefs on another culture that has their own gods and traditions?  The God of Creation is the true and living God, the only God!  “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5).  Therefore we must take His Word to all tribes, tongues, nations and peoples.  The doctrine of creation can transform the missionary’s natural reticence into boldness and zeal!

Worship of God as Creator is Ubiquitous in the Bible.

O Lord, how marvelous are your works!  In wisdom you have made them all.  The earth is full of your possessions.  Psalm 104:24
The above Scripture passages are just samples.  Creation is the reason for worship throughout the Bible– browse through this partial list of references and see.  We know God as Creator first, before we know anything else of His attributes.  Worship cannot be limited to our tiny church “worship centers” when God inhabits the ends of the universe!  Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and earth is My footstool.  Where is the house you will build Me?  And where is the place of My rest?  For all those things My hand has made; and all those things exist,” says the Lord.  “But on this one will I look, on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word”  (Isaiah 66:1-2).

Creation can revolutionize worship in the church.  This is not a new teaching, but a call to return to the true reason for worship that was from the beginning.  It’s time to dust off this long-neglected doctrine and rediscover the joy, the awe, the thanksgiving, the gladness that comes from recognizing God as Creator, and rejoicing in His works!

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness.  Come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.  (Psalm 100)

Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights!  Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all his hosts!  Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars of light!  Praise Him, you heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens!  Let the praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created.  He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.  Praise the Lord from the earth; you great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds, stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills, fruitful trees and all cedars, beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl; kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens; old men and children.  Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.  (Psalm 148:1-13)


Introduction to Reason #2
Reason #1, Creation is the Reason for Worship, is reason enough for the church to emphasize creation.  But there’s much more!

Top down, or bottom up?  Do you build a house by starting on the roof and working down, or by laying the foundation and building on top of it?  That leads us to consider Reason #2.  Click here to continue.